Monday, October 13, 2014

Elin Gregory has Another Winner (and a joust or two)

Published by Love Lane Books
I love Elin Gregory's books (see them here). I adored her On a Lee Shore, a sea-faring adventure full of pirates. What I enjoy about her writing is her ease of prose and the fact I can't put them down once I've started.

She's just had another story published: A Taste of Copper, set in medieval times. I'll let her tell you about it, but it's in true Elin Gregory style - unputtadownable.

Here's Elin: 

Many thanks, Sue, for allowing me free rein on your blog today to talk about my latest release, a medievalish, historicalish romp called A Taste of Copper.

Why all the 'ishes'?




This story is set in a kingdom loosely based on the warring European  petty kingdoms, dukedoms and principalities of the Middle Ages, in a time when might was right and the strength on ones hands and the size of ones army was of more importance than justice or mercy. The atmosphere is as accurate as I have been able to make it - that a man's word was his bond, that his integrity should be defended even to the point of bloodshed - but there isn't a single accurate historical fact, not a name not a date and I've taken horrible liberties with geography too!

It is, of course, a fantasy - though without any elves dwarfs or magic - and the decision to write something fantastical, but with some attention to historical detail, was quite deliberate. To be honest, I wrote the story just for the sheer fun of it. I like men in armour, I like horses, I have attended several tourneys, or what passes for tourneys these days, and they are huge fun. It might have been possible to make a story out of one of the accounts of knightly duels of the middle ages - like the time a French squire held up two opposing armies by challenging any Englishman who was in love to defend the name of his 'lady' - but I was writing for relaxation and didn't want to spend hours winnowing information out of piles of books. Much better to dip into books between watching videos of Full Metal Jousting.





No horses were injured during the making of that video. The men took their chances.

There never was a knight called Maheris the Black, nor a squire called Olivier Brand. This means I could do pretty much as I pleased with them, and they benefitted from it I think. Circumstances were tweaked, bent and distorted to allow Olivier to love his knight with all his heart and few harsh words said, apart from those uttered by Maheris who finds it difficult to express himself. Why allow them to be together? Because some years ago I saw a plaintive comment on a fiction forum from a gay man asking for historical and adventure stories that allowed gay couples a happy ending. That there weren't any, that in most historically accurate books they had to part, seemed very unfair to me and I decided to write a few. Since then the number of historical romances has boomed so that man has plenty to choose from but just one more can't hurt, can it?



A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory

Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.

Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything.

Then word comes that the King desires to cross the bridge. With an army approaching, a bright eyed archer enticing Olivier to desert and the first cracks beginning to show in the Black Knight's gruff demeanour, Olivier is left wondering if his honour is worth more than a chance for happiness.

Word count: 25,900
Cover Art: Meredith Russell
Editor: Erika Orrick
Copyright: Elin Gregory


Read the whole of the first chapter here.

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